Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 10:21

Trekking in Madagascar

Trekking in Madagascar Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Madagascar
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    4 out of 7 - Moderate & Challenging

  • 15 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 18+
  • Trip Code: TZMA3
  • Carbon Footprint: 19kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Discover national parks, mountains and incredible wildlife

This exciting itinerary allows us to experience the incredible diversity of Madagascar, predominantly on foot. We trek in Andringitra National Park, one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks on the island, and in Isalo National Park, which has a unique landscape of rock formations, deep canyons, waterfalls and natural swimming pools. We search for lemurs in Anja Reserve and visit Ranomafana National Park, walking through spectacular scenery in the hope of spotting endemic lemurs, including dancing sifakas. Throughout the trip, the unique wildlife of this island will enchant and amaze.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights in hotels, four nights of full-service camping, some basic campsites, all with shared facilities
  • Five days of walking with full porterage
  • Three shorter daywalks
  • Altitude maximum: 8,720ft (2,658m); average: 1,640ft (500m)

Highlights

  • Trek in Isalo National Park
  • Climb Peak Boby, the second-highest peak in Madagascar
  • See lemurs in their natural habitat
  • Relax on the beach in Ifaty

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is rated Activity Level 4 (Moderate & Challenging).For more information on our trip gradings please visit the Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.

It is suitable for those with a good level of fitness. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not vital as long as you are confident of your physical condition. Some of the areas we visit are quite remote and have basic facilities. Some of the walks in the national parks are uneven and may be slippery underfoot so you need to be comfortable with this. In addition, some of the trekking days are quite long, and the heat at certain times of the year can make these walks more strenuous.

Madagascar is a rewarding destination with a wealth of flora and fauna, but we wish to highlight the following for you to consider before you decide to travel:

Travelling by vehicle in Madagascar can be uncomfortable as the road quality varies. Please read our travelling conditions for more information. We have some longer drives but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with village visits, to take photos and to stretch our legs.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world and a degree of flexibility and improvisation is required at times. The tourist infrastructure in Madagascar is relatively new and some services are limited. It is not unusual for there to be changes to accommodation or internal flights and, for this reason, the order of the itinerary (but not the content) may sometimes change.

Adult min age: 18

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

TZMA Map

Land Only

  • Start City: Antananarivo
  • End City: Antananarivo

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Antananarivo

Our adventure starts in Antananarivo, known locally as Tana. There is a group meeting and briefing in the evening followed by an optional group dinner for those who wish to join.

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere (or similar)

Day 2
Morning city tour; transfer to Ambositra

We take a morning walk to the upper part of Antananarivo, ascending to Antaninarenina (the commercial and administrative part of town) and walking to the main entrance of the Queen’s Palace, with outstanding views over Tana. We drive to Ambositra in the afternoon, where we have the chance to visit Zafimaniry handicraft centres.

Max altitude: 4,460ft (1,360m)

Accommodation: Artisan Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 2mi (4km)

Ascent: 525ft (160m); Activity hours: 1hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
To Antoetra; full-day trek through hills and rice fields, visiting local villages

A full day walking to Antoetra allows us to discover and explore Zafimaniry villages. The Zafimaniry people are renowned for their woodcarvings; in their villages, even the houses are works of art! In 2003, the Zafimaniry people and their woodwork were considered to be masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, a list maintained by Unesco to protect and preserve their way of life. We walk through habituated areas – through rice fields, hills and small villages, following regular paths used by locals. After the walk, we drive back to Ambositra.

Max altitude: 5,840ft (1,780m)

Accommodation: Artisan Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 781ft (238m); Descent: 1,020ft (311m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Transfer to Ranomafana National Park

Today we head south and east to the well-visited national park of Ranomafana. The drive takes us through spectacular scenery, past neat Betsileo rice paddies and thick forests. We reach our destination in the afternoon and, after a rest at the hotel, we take an evening walk along the roadside of Ranomafana to spot nocturnal wildlife.

Accommodation: Hotel Le Grenat (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Morning visit to Ranomafana National Park; transfer to Ambalavao in the afternoon

We visit Ranomafana National Park in the morning, a mountainous rainforest park with elevations ranging from 1,970ft to 4,595ft (600m to 1,400m). It contains many different forest types (from lowland rainforest to cloud forest and high plateau forest) and provides the opportunity to see various lemur species (golden bamboo lemurs, greater and lesser bamboo lemurs, red-bellied lemurs, red-fronted lemurs, Mile Edward’s sifaka) plus birds, frogs, reptiles, snails and orchids.

In the afternoon, we drive to Fianarantsoa, the capital city of the Betsileo tribe Ambalavao. Then we head south to Ambalavao, the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for folk art and crafts. We will stop at Domaine de Manohisoa, about 5 km south of Fianarantsoa, to visit a wine farm and taste some local wine. We arrive in Ambalavao before sunset. Here we learn about the production of Antemoro paper: a paper produced from the bark of the havoha tree.

Max altitude: 3,280ft (1,000m)

Accommodation: Tsienimparihy Lodge (or similar)

Distance covered: 5mi (8km)

Ascent: 394ft (120m); Descent: 394ft (120m); Activity hours: 4-5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Early transfer to Andringitra National Park to start the three-day trek to climb Peak Boby

We have an early transfer to Andringitra National Park,  one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks in Madagascar. Andringitra has been managed by the WWF since 1993 and has three distinct eco-zones: low-altitude rainforest, montane rainforest and high-altitude vegetation. Although Andringitra contains diverse wildlife (more than 100 bird species, 50 mammal species, including 13 lemurs types, and 55 frog species), the prime reason for visiting is for the stunning landscape, vegetation and superb trekking. More than 1,000 plant species exist in this national park, and the guides are highly knowledgeable on the local plants and their medicinal uses.

In the morning, we visit two waterfalls, Riandahy and Raimbavy, and then begin our trek to reach the second-highest peak in Madagascar, Peak Boby (which is also known as Pic d’Imarivolanitra or ‘close to the sky’). The trek begins in forest, which is slowly replaced by alpine meadows covered with orchids by the end of the rainy season. Leaving the forest, we ascend a steep path to the Andohariana plateau, climbing higher behind granite mountaintops. As we walk through the high montane vegetation, we reach a natural pool, which offers a freezing but very refreshing swim. After approximately six hours of walking, we camp at Anderamposty (6,890ft/2,100m).

Max altitude: 6,890ft (2,100m)

Accommodation: Full-service camping

Distance covered: 6mi (9km)

Ascent: 1,739ft (530m); Descent: 295ft (90m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Andringitra National Park

On our longest trekking day, we begin our climb to the summit of Peak Boby early to avoid climbing in the full heat of the day. Keep your camera handy as the trek climbs higher, giving unrivalled views and superb high-altitude flora. Although this is the highest accessible peak in Madagascar, it is a technically easy ascent up carved steps. We should reach the summit after about three to four hours. We take the same route back to our campsite, where we have a chance to relax by the river while our lunch is prepared. After lunch, we head out through moon-like landscapes, granite cliffs and a forest of palm trees en route to our campsite. After approximately six hours of walking, we camp at Iantaranomby (5,415ft/1,650m).

Max Altitude: 8,720ft (2,658m)

Accommodation: Full-service camping

Distance covered: 12mi (20km)

Ascent: 3,583ft (1,092m); Descent: 5,007ft (1,526m); Activity hours: 10hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Andringitra National Park

On our final day of walking in Andringitra National Park, we leave the mountains after breakfast, exploring villages on foot. With the decreasing altitude, we pass many forms of succulent plants, such as the pachypodium (which looks like a mini baobab tree), euphorbia and through savannah landscape. After approximately four hours, we camp at Meva Campsite in Tsaranoro Valley (2,955ft/900m).

Max altitude: 5,035ft (1,535m)

Accommodation: Full-service camping

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 778ft (237m); Descent: 2,949ft (899m); Activity hours: 5-6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
Visit Anya Reserve to look for ring-tailed lemurs; to Isalo National Park

We drive to the little town of Ranohira today, the base for visiting Isalo National Park. Along the way, we visit the small reserve of Anja, where ring-tailed lemurs (otherwise known as kattas) can be observed in their natural habitat.

Accommodation: Les Toiles de l’Isalo (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10
Exploring Isalo National Park

We spend two days exploring Isalo National Park – a trip highlight. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases, often described as Eden. We start by walking along a relatively flat path, following the foot of the rocky mountain range, until the magnificent Canyon of Makis, where we search for cheeky ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux’s sifakas. From here, we have a fairly steep climb (those suffering from vertigo may find this challenging) and then walk through the scenic, moon-like landscape of the park to our campsite.

Max altitude: 3,590ft (1,094m)

Accommodation: Full-service camping

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Ascent: 1,512ft (461m); Descent: 1,345ft (410m); Activity hours: 5-6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11
Continue exploring Isalo National Park

Today is our second day discovering Isalo National Park. We visit Namaza waterfall, once again in search of ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux’s sifakas. We then head to the Piscine Naturelle (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot in such an arid landscape, where we can swim and relax after the hot walk. Soak up the sheer beauty of the park – the combination of eroded coloured rock formations, strange plants and enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Africa.

Max altitude: 3,940ft (1,200m)

Accommodation: Isalo Ranch (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 98ft (30m); Descent: 66ft (20m); Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12
To west coast and beaches; overnight at Ifaty Beach

We drive to Tulear after an early breakfast, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south, and pass both the Mahafaly and Antandroy tombs, briefly observing their ornate decorations. Antandroy and Mahafaly are reputed to be the most impressive of all Malagasy tombs, with the Antandroy tombs being large and brightly painted, relating to the life story and wishes of the deceased. They are also topped with zebu skulls, which were sacrificed during the funeral festivity – a ceremony of great significance. Mahafaly tombs are characterised by their wooden sculptures known as Aloalo, relating to the life of the deceased and their unfulfilled dreams, as well as their rank within the clan. After a brief stop in Tulear, we continue past the coastal town of Ifaty to our hotel on the beach.

Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13
Free time for relaxation or optional activities at Ifaty Beach

We have a free day at Ifaty Beach. Running all the way around the southwest Malagasy coastline, Ifaty Beach lies on one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, which makes it an excellent venue for scuba diving. Between late June and early September, whales can be observed off the beautiful white beaches here and the offshore islet of Nosy Ve is a terrific place for snorkelling. Protected by coral reefs, the beach and waters beyond the hotel offer a welcome rest from your trekking itinerary.

Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14
Fly to Antananarivo

Today we transfer to Tulear Airport for our flight to Antananarivo, which arrives in the afternoon. Depending on the flight schedule, you may have free time to explore Antananarivo on your own.

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15
End Antananarivo

Depending on your flight times, you may have the opportunity to embark on an optional short visit to Ambohimanga, the fortified village and royal palace. Ambohimanga, otherwise known as Blue Hills, was forbidden to Europeans for a long time. The kings and queens returned here to rest and relax on the forested slopes of this hilltop village. Here began the line of kings and queens who united Madagascar into one country. Ambohimanga still remains of spiritual significance for the Malagasy people with ceremonies and rituals still taking place.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances: All ascents, descents and distances listed in the daily itinerary have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. However, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these Trips Notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotels and camping

Trekking in Madagascar

We spend 10 nights in hotels. We also have four nights of full-service camping, with some basic campsites, all with shared facilities. We use tourist-class hotels, which are simple and comfortable, except during the treks where we camp in the national parks.

Most of the hotels have mosquito nets in the rooms.

Worth knowing

  • All of the hotels are said to have a reliable electricity and water supply. However, there may be instances in which you experience some gaps in supply. This is more a reflection of life in Madagascar than the hotel standard.

During the camping portions, we camp in small and mobile two-person tents. The camping is full service so the tents are put up for you. Campsites in Madagascan parks usually offer only very basic facilities. Do not expect hot showers, flushing toilets and Western standards of cleanliness at some of the places we stay. Some toilets may be long drops. Please come prepared. All camping equipment is provided except sleeping bags.

Single supplement from £ 400

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, five lunches and five dinners are included.

Food standards in Madagascar vary and are probably not of the same standard you are used to at home. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost 23,000-34,000 Madagascan ariaries (US$5-US$7.50) while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost 50,000-67,000 ariaries (US$11-US$15). Please allow approximately 890,000 araries (US$195) for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone’s taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rums, which are widely sold and very reasonably priced.

Please note, if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options are rather limited (ie omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple: eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (eg spread, peanut butter etc).

Transport

Travel is mainly by small private bus. Most of this trip is on well-surfaced roads with occasional poor and bumpy sections. There is one internal flight from Tulear to Antananarivo.

On the treks, we walk from camp to camp. Porters assist with all luggage – you just have to carry your backpack for the day.

Madagascar has a varied landscape, flora and fauna and this trip gives you a great overview of its culture, people, varying landscapes, vegetation and unique wildlife. However, we do cover quite a distance to do this. Most roads are well-surfaced, but Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world and the infrastructure reflects this. Some roads are better than others and a little patience, humour and flexibility may be required at times!

The driving distances are as follows (approximate drive times include stops)

  • Antananarivo to Ambositra: 165mi (265km), eight hours
  • Ambositra to Ivato: 9mi (15km), dirt road, one hour
  • Ambositra to Ranomafana: 96mi (155km), seven hours
  • Ranomafana to Ambalavao: 81mi (130km), five hours
  • Ambalavao to Andringitra National Park: 28mi (45km), dirt road, four hours
  • Tsaranoro Valley to Ranohira: 146mi (235km), seven hours
  • Ranohira to Ifaty: 171mi (275km), six hours

Although distances are mentioned, drive times can be time consuming due to road conditions as many of the areas visited are remote and road conditions inconsistent.

Weather & Seasonality

Madagascar has a tropical climate with two seasons: rainy and dry.

The driest season extends from April to October. It can be cold on the central plateau (including Antananarivo) in the evenings, and in the rainforest areas, so you should bring warm clothes (fleece and waterproof).

There is considerable regional variation but coastal areas are normally very hot and dry. Expect daytime in the shade temperatures up to 38C (100F) from October to December and up to 30C (86F) from April to June and September.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Hotel Belvedere, Lot IF 27, Bis Isoraka, Antananarivo 101
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Ivato International Airport (TNR)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from the airport. Exodus provides free arrival transfers to the start hotel from the airport for all customers. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

Exodus provides free departure transfers for all customers to Ivato International Airport (TNR) from the end hotel.

Please note, unless specified otherwise, the transfers will be to the start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers should be booked with your sales representative at least two weeks before the tour starts.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Antananarivo
Location end: Antananarivo

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Three‐season sleeping bag for camping
  • Soft kitbag/backpack for items required while trekking. The rest of your luggage is stored for you. Lightweight clothing, to include at least one pair of trousers (pants) and a long‐sleeved shirt (for protection against mosquitoes and scratchy plants)
  • Warm sweater or fleece jacket (as nights can be chilly)
  • Walking boots or training shoes with good tread
  • Rain jacket (year-round)
  • Gloves
  • Thick socks
  • Warm hat
  • Warm trousers (pants) for low evening temperatures, which can fall as low as freezing point between August and May due to high elevation
  • Backpack for the day
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Torch (flashlight) for use when camping, wildlife viewing at night and for power cuts

Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of 44lb (20kg). As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Water included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill or get burned. Both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip, we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles to reduce the plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout; all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill along the way. Please add this to your packing list.

Exodus kitbag: If you book this trip, we provide a free Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in while on trek. Once you have booked, you will be sent instructions on how to claim your bag (they are not sent automatically). Please note, if you book less than three weeks before the departure date, we cannot guarantee your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts. If this is the case, please contact us on customerops@exodus.co.uk (or customeroperations@exodustravels.com if you’re based in the US or Canada). See www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags for full T&Cs.

Environmental considerations: We believe in reducing our negative environmental impact wherever possible, even when nature calls. If no facilities are available, you may need to go behind a tree, bush or rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind, we recommend taking biodegradable bags with you. Once you have done your business, put the used paper in the bag and dispose when appropriate facilities are available.

Optional Equipment

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Swimwear
  • Earplugs if you have trouble sleeping
  • Some may find walking poles useful

Please note, tampons are virtually impossible to get hold of in Madagascar.

Due to laws in Madagascar about the dispensing of medicine, the guides are not able to carry any basic medicines should you feel unwell. These include paracetamol, Imodium and aspirin. Although they are available to buy in Madagascar, if you believe you may need these, we advise you to bring them with you from home.

Practical Information

Passport

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary or to request Exodus do so on your behalf, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Madagascar

Visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health

Madagascar
There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for hepatitis A, polio, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis B, rabies and tuberculosis. You will also need a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or transiting for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Protection against malaria is essential. Please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic on the best course of action for all the above. Additionally, dengue fever, a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, is a known risk. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available; therefore, we recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Please note, if you plan to stay in Madagascar for four weeks or longer, you may be asked to show, when leaving the country, a proof of polio vaccination on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) provided four weeks to one year before departure from Madagascar. Failure to do so may result in a vaccination upon departure.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Local Time

Madagascar's time zone: Indian/Antananarivo (UTC +03:00)

Electricity

Madagascar's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and E (two round pins) – 220V, 50Hz

Trekking in Madagascar

Money

Madagascar's currency: Malagasy ariary (MGA)

ATM Availability

ATMs are only available in Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa and Tulear on this trip. Please note, you cannot rely on credit cards for payment as they are not widely accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

A Visa card can be used to obtain cash at some banks. Mastercard is only accepted at the BNI bank. Bring your spending money in euros or US dollars cash as these are easiest to change to local currency. Bills of €100 or US$100 usually get a better rate than bills of 20 or less. British pounds can only be exchanged at banks at the airport, but even there, they are not always accepted. You can bring maximum €7,500 or the corresponding amount in other currency without declaring it on arrival. Above that amount, you have to declare it. Please note, you can import and export a maximum of 400,000 ariaries. You cannot rely on credit cards for payment as they are rarely accepted and the ATMs don’t always work. American Express or Diners cards are rarely accepted in Madagascar.

All money should be exchanged at the airport on arrival, as it’d take too long in the banks in the provincial towns. Also, the exchange rate at the airport is generally better than in the banks in Antananarivo or other cities.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work. You may feel your leader has performed well and want to show your appreciation of their services. If you would like to tip your leader, we suggest approximately 12,000 araries (US$2.65) per person per day.

It is also courtesy to tip any extra guides/drivers you may have, though not compulsory. Shortly after arrival, the leader will suggest to the group that they donate a sum of 200,000 ariaries (US$44) per person towards a kitty. This money is then used to tip local guides, hotel porters, drivers etc and will be distributed by the leader.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:  

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible. Most of the accommodation on this trip is family owned.
  • Read more about our other initiatives

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves and archaeological sites generates income which is used to upkeep and develop these important sites.
  • We visit Andringitra, Ranomafana and Isalo national parks. The fees collected fund conservation initiatives.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal-welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices regarding working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • With our partners, Rewilding Apennines, we rewild 100 square meters (1,075 sqft) of land per passenger who travels with us.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • This trip has three nights of camping. One night in Isalo National Park and two nights at Andringitra National Park.
  • We stay at Tsarasoa Lodge in Tsarasoa Valley, which uses solar power.
  • As this is a walking trip, it provides a low-impact way of exploring the destination.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

This trip goes near an area deemed unsafe to visit by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whose advice we follow when operating our trips. While our itinerary doesn’t go to these areas, you should familiarise yourself with your local government’s advice if you are planning any pre- or post-trip travel. Any independent travel to areas currently against your local government advice is entirely at your own risk and unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.